Taking Care of a Bedridden Patient

patient on a hospital bed

When someone says the word bedridden, you might think of any elderly who has grown weak and is not in the best of health to perform daily chores, but actually bedridden or a person on bed rest can include a wide range of categories other than the old people. Sometimes there are injuries by accidents or fractures of the lower body or lower limbs that can also result in complete bed rest.

Certain complications in pregnancies often lead to bed rest for the mother until the baby is born. There are multiple other conditions like possible chances of infections from surgeries or any injury to the back or spine for which the doctor can advise you complete bed rest.

Easy Access to Everything

Being on bed rest is one tough time. But, taking care of a bedridden person is a much bigger task. You need to provide them everything by their bedside whilst also taking care of their bathroom needs. In cases where they can’t even walk towards the bathroom, you will have to hire help for their toiletry needs and bathing. Sometimes when the patient is not so heavy and if you feel comfortable in doing their chores, you can assist them in these tasks.

Often times in pregnancy complications, the mother is allowed to take bathroom breaks in between but if the complications are severe, then the doctor may advise everything to be done on the bed. Sometimes the doctor may advise your patient for partial bed rest, in that case, the woman can sit, walk, or stand for a little duration of time. In case of complete bed rest, you will have to take extra care since there are two lives associated there.

Cleanliness is Key

For an elderly person or a post-traumatic person like an accident, the bed rest time can go anywhere from days to months. In such situations, you need to be vigilant on their cleanliness as well as the surrounding. You will definitely need to rush to the nearest mattress store to get a comfortable memory foam for your patient. The added benefit of memory foam is that they contour according to the body so is a preventive measure for bed sores. Repositioning them and adjusting them will also help prevent these sores.

The surrounding environment must be squeaky clean for hygiene purposes. So, change the bedsheets every day. Make sure of their personal hygiene, cut their fingernails and toenails every week, trim their hair accordingly. Provide them assistance in cleaning themselves up if they can move on their own or help them do the task completely. Any route of entry can be the cause of new infections for them, so try to maintain their oral hygiene as well as anal hygiene.

As advised earlier to change the bed clothing every day, change the patient’s clothes every day too, this will ensure cleanliness in case any residue or food has fallen on their clothes. Clean clothes every day will also ensure their toiletry hygiene. Clean clothes every day will give them a fresh feeling each morning and won’t make them feel sick due to any bad smell.

nurse checking on a patient

Follow the Schedule

Be their ultimate calendar, manage their food requirements, and be on time to give them their medicines. Give them nutritious food as prescribed by their doctors. Do not self-medicate them under any circumstances. They will be in their lowest of health post-surgery, so they will require a proper health plan. Hydrate them well enough and avoid giving them packaged goods like juices and sugary drinks.

Mind the View

Mental health will play a vital role in the better health of your patient so give them a calm environment to live in and try to keep them in an aerated room with a balcony so that they can change their view from the walls and watch a sunset instead. Be more around them and make them happy, give them a part of your day so that they can get their mind off their illness.

Bedridden people miss out on life a lot, which is why you should try your best in compensating their time with as much as you can do without getting frustrated. Take help from others so that you may not get full from all their work. Even if you care about them the most, it’s in human nature to lose your temper and patience when you are bound to do the same thing again and again, so never refrain from asking others to join you in doing their work. You will only be able to care for them and help them if you keep your cool and don’t exhaust yourself.

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